Canadian cable co. Shaw sees Q3 profit rise

Fri, 06/26/2009 - 8:20am
The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Shaw Communications Inc. said profit grew 3 percent in the third quarter as it signed up new cable and telephone subscribers.

Shaw earned 132 million Canadian dollars ($114.5 million), or 31 Canadian cents per share (27 cents), up from 128 million Canadian dollars, or 30 Canadian cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Revenue was 861.4 million Canadian dollars ($746.9 million) versus 792.1 million Canadian dollars ($686.8 million).

Excluding one-time items related to taxes for the third quarters of 2009 and 2008, Shaw earned 131 million Canadian dollars ($113.6 million). Free cash flow rose 47 percent to 154 million Canadian dollars ($133.3 million).

Results missed analysts' expectations for a profit of 32 Canadian cents per share on revenue of 862.8 million Canadian dollars, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

Shares rose 8 cents to $17.07. They've traded between $13.39 and $23.48 in the past 52 weeks.

The company is on track to reach its guidance for the year, CEO Jim Shaw said.

"Strong subscriber growth and solid operational performance delivered financial results year-to-date that keep us on track to achieve our financial guidance for the year, including generating free cash flow of at least $500 million," he said.

For the nine months ended May 31, the company reported net income of 411 million Canadian dollars ($355.9 million), or 95 Canadian cents per share (82 cents), compared with 539 million Canadian dollars ($466.7 million), or 1.24 Canadian dollars per share ($1.08). Revenue rose 9.5 percent to 2.5 billion Canadian dollars ($2.2 billion).

Looking forward, the Alberta, Ontario-based cable company reiterated earlier guidance offered in October. The company said then that service operating income for cable, before amortization, should increase by 10 percent in 2009, while satellite services should show "modest' growth. Free cash flow is expected to be at least 500 million Canadian dollars.

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